Staff Reporter

Attendance in offices nil; malls, entertainment places and ATM centres closed

HYDERABAD: Normal life came to a grinding halt in the State capital on Tuesday as the twin cities remained “shut” completely. The bandh call given by Telangana Joint Action Committee to demand bifurcation of the State was peaceful.

Police top brass, which had flown in huge contingents of para-military forces following violence in the ongoing pro-Telangana agitation, heaved a sigh of relief as no trouble was reported barring some stray incidents. Osmania University, the nerve-centre of the agitation, remained calm but the relay huger strikes of students went on at Arts College.

Not a single bus came out of the RTC depots, attendance in Government and private offices was nearly nil while public and private transport services stopped from Tuesday midnight. Shops, malls, entertainment places, petrol bunks, hotels, even roadside stalls in interior places and bank ATM centres were closed.

Processions were taken out at different places defying prohibitory orders even as police tried to prevent them, effigies were burnt and trains stopped. No bandh enforcers were seen moving on roads forcibly closing shops. Most of them were shut voluntarily.

Except in few pockets, bandh was total in old city as well. Mild tension prevailed when some hoteliers and their workers attacked a group of political party activists persuading businessmen to close shops near Gulzar House. Police brought situation under control using mild force.

A group of bike-borne protesters tried to force their way into Mount Opera and broke window panes of a room when the security personnel resisted them. Advocates boycotted all courts and the High Court. Police took members and leaders of the TJAC, including its convenor and professor, Kodandaram, into preventive custody when they tried to take out a rally from Sundaraiah Vignana Kendra.

Fast called off

Ten students of Osmania University, who continued indefinite fast even after being shifted from Arts College to Gandhi hospital, called off fasting in the presence of K. Chandrashekhar Rao. They were shifted to a corporate hospital as their condition deteriorated.